It seems, in the online content-creation realm, that there’s two basic sides: there’s the blogging, and the micro-blogging. WordPress vs. Twitter, Blogger vs. Friendfeed. One is longer-form and detailed; the other full of short, quick bursts of information.
Somewhere in between those two lies this funny thing called live-blogging. It works like Twitter or Friendfeed, but is all in one place in a coherent way. It lives on a blog or website, where it’s easily found; that’s a pretty serious advantage over Twitter or Friendfeed, where things tend to get jumbled and stored in a number of places, and become hard to find after a while.
Live-blogging definitely has its place, and there’s at least one great application you can use to do it: ScribbleLive. If you’re not sure how to have a blog that you live-blog updates to, ScribbleLive is a fairly basic application with some great features to it, that lets you simply and easily live-blog just about anything you can think of. It’s mostly used for events and conferences (Apple’s WWDC was a popular choice for live-blogging), but the uses are only limited by your imagination.
You can log in to ScribbleLive with a Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Flickr, or OpenID. There might be an option for a site-specific login, but who’d want that? If you’ve got at least one of the accounts I just mentioned (if not – get on that), then logging in is simple with your existing credentials.
Once you’re logged in, set some basic preferences like background and text color, size, and whether or not to show avatars. Then click “Save,” and congrats – you’re live-blogging! If you’re so inclined, you can embed the app into your own site (awesome if you have one), and you’re set to go. Type something into the box or upload an image, press Enter, and you’re off!
Adding content is both quick and easy. There’s no clicking around – just keep typing and pressing Enter, and your data keeps updating. Ever wonder how to have a blog where multiple people can post instant updates? With ScribbleLive, you can invite others to join in the fun, either as commenters or authors themselves. ScribbleLive can also be connected to Twitter and have a particular person’s tweets shown during the live-blog. Each event even has its own unique email address – so feel free to send texts or emails to the address, and they’ll get posted as well.
Everything you write gets translated on the fly, and is available in a huge number of languages – your audience can truly be worldwide, and be involved across countries and languages.
From my own tests, there’s about a five-second delay on all updates made from the site (which is pretty good, actually). You don’t ever need to refresh anything, as all the data is automatically updated for you. Here’s what a particular stream looks like to the readers (this took me all of 15 seconds to set up).
Live-blogging’s certainly not for everybody and every occasion. What it IS great for is creating a coherent narrative around an event. If you can’t be somewhere that you want to keep tabs on, a live blog is much more coherent and put-together than trying to track a disparate Twitter stream from hundreds of different people. ScribbleLive’s events can be written by as many people as you want, making the event as open or closed as you want it to be.
As a blogger, I think live-blogging is a neat way to engage readers in real time. As a reader, it’s a great way to keep updated even when you can’t be in the room. For both, I’ve got nothing bad to say about ScribbleLive.
What do you use live-blogging for? Do you use ScribbleLive, or something else?